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I hear this September 17, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic.
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I’ve lived through a great deal of what Voris describes below.  Anyone else think he’s pretty accurately describing how most dioceses in this country work?

Pretty much everything he describes, we do.  Plus, I’ve seen what seems to be obstructionism on a number of Faith issues from various lay staff in various places in the Church. 

There was a lay catechist of RCIA at a local parish which I won’t name who said “Luther got it right.”  The entire history of the Church was wrong until Vatican II, according to this character.  How could he come to that view?  You can probably figure that out.

Does giving money to panhandlers satisfy charity? September 17, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, General Catholic, Society.
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So, Crescat has a post about how she gives money to any panhandler she sees, feeling that we are called to do so.  Some people don’t think that’s right, that so many panhandlers will go spend the money on potential sins like abusing drugs or alcohol, that they cannot in good conscience do so.  Crescat says she’s ok with people using money to buy liquor or drugs to help them cope with street life.  As a former addict, I find that pretty hard to accept, both due to my own experience and that of others.  Drugs/alcohol didn’t help me cope with life, they made my life a nightmare. 

What do you think?  Are we called to give money to the poor indiscriminately, or should we use prudential judgement?  St. Thomas Acquinas definitely argues for the latter, I think.  But more and more today, there are voice in the Church advocating for the former, stating that we are not to “judge” how they will spend the alms they are given.

UPDATE:  The issue is not really charity, it’s prudence.  I’m not saying don’t help the homeless or poor, absolutely we should.  We give to some shelters in the area like Union Gospel and Austin Street.  I’m talking about direct cash payments to panhandlers.  Statistics indicate that a majority of the homeless are both addicts, and on the street because of their substance abuse.  Can we in good conscience give money to, as likely as not, further their addiction?

Do you ever have a day….. September 17, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin.
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…..when you’re really busy, and what you’d like to be doing is praying/studying/contemplating God, and you’re not able to do it?  Does anyone else have a desire just to go be with Jesus in Adoration for the day, or for many days? 

My wife is sometimes amazed at what I desire to do now, compared to what I used to desire to do.  Freaking addicts can’t do anything “normal.”

Mass. public school students encouraged to pray to Mecca September 17, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Ecumenism, foolishness, General Catholic, scandals, Society.
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The sudden coverage of Islam related events is not intended to be a theme of this blog, but there have been a number of interesting/revealing stories lately.  In Massachussets, public school students from Wellesley Middle School were sent on a trip to a local mosque during Friday prayers, where they were supposed to learn about Muslim history.  Instead, they wound up being led in prayers and bowing to Mecca.  This is potentially very dangerous, on a number levels – if one says in Arabic “There is one god, allah, and mohammed is his proph**,” you have just become muslim.  If any of the kids were mimicking the prayers, well….we know how some muslims deal with apostates. 

Isn’t this supposedly one of the most sacrosanct elements of our secular culture – that exposing public schoolchildren to any form of religion is absolutely heinous?  What do you suppose the reaction would be if the class had been led to, say, Benediction in a Catholic church?  And no, the parents were not forewarned nor was there an ability to opt out.  Why?  Well, because in the left/liberal mindset, Islam constitutes an “other” outside their bourgeouis experience that is thus above reproach.  Thus, exposing children to this religion is fine – it’s only the Christian religion, which they perceive as being part of the ‘evil’ West, which is totally forbidden.

And, oh yeah….Islam is becoming the de facto state religion of the United States.  After all, burning a Koran or saying derogatory things about Islam is not protected speech, according to a Supreme Court justice. 

Pray.  It’s going to be a rough ride.

Austin diocese cancels Jewish activities at Austin church September 17, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Ecumenism, foolishness, General Catholic, scandals.
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I reported on the Austin parish hosting a Jewish congregation for high holy days, and that the rabbi of this congregation is a board member for Planned Parenthood.  In spite of this information coming out, and reports by EWTN, myself, Fr. Z, and finally LifeSiteNews.com, it appeared the diocese and parish had dug in their heels and the event was going to go on.  But this morning LifeSiteNews is reporting that they received a press release stating that the pastor and rabbi decided it would be best to cancel the event, which means that Bishop Vasquez of Austin made them cancel it.  Judge for yourself:

Austin Bishop Joe Vásquez has directed that the services of Yom Kippur for the congregation of Temple Beth Shalom not take place as planned at St. Louis Catholic Church on September 17 and 18.

A statement from the diocese sent to LSN notes that “Bishop Joe Vásquez is aware of recent press and Internet reports that have questioned the appropriateness of the invitation having been extended to Temple Beth Shalom by Father Larry Covington, Pastor of St. Louis Catholic Church. In view of the fact that Rabbi Alan Freedman is a member of the board of Planned Parenthood of the Texas Capital Region, and questions about the suitability of the use of a Catholic sanctuary by a non-Christian community, Father Covington has determined, in consultation with Bishop Vásquez, to withdraw the invitation.”

The release added: “After mutual consultation, Rabbi Freedman and Father Covington have also come to an amicable agreement that it is in the best interests of both communities that the services not be held at St. Louis Church. 

See, they came to that agreement in the sense that a friend and I came to an agreement, when we were 13 y/o, with that pleasant but very firm police officer(s) that, yes sir, it would be a good idea to be going home right now and that we’ll come down from the roof of the school right away.  And, oh, no sir, we did not know it’s 2 am, we had lost track of time…something like that.

It was quite strange enough to have a Catholic parish hosting a Jewish congregation for their holy days, wherein they covered up the tabernacle and altar.   But the Planned Parenthood angle made it unacceptable.  And I am quite sorry, the Diocese of Austin, if not the Bishop, absolutely and certainly knew about the rabbi’s connection to Planned Parenthood – they were made very aware of that quite salient fact last year.  Perhaps the new Bishop Vasquez knew of this connection prior to recent reports, perhaps he did not, but there is no question that his auxiliary bishops and the staff at the chancery DID know about the rabbi’s affiliations.

I don’t want to put too fine a point on this, but this speaks to Michael Voris’ repeated point that in order for the Church to change, to become perhaps more orthodox and put an end to these kinds of indifferentist practices (and many other problems), it’s up to the laity to drive the changes.  I do not believe that without the extensive and embarrassing coverage that this event garnered that Bishop Vasquez would have been moved to act – but he did act, and that is very much to his credit.  We have seen previous situations where the response has been to become more truculent and lash out at the critics (re: CCHD).  I pray we see these kinds of situations diminish greatly if not vanish altogether, and soon.  We’ll see with regard to the Lenten missions this coming year.

BTW, am I alone in thinking that perhaps Bishop Vasquez should also have a long and deep discussion with Pastor Larry Covington about the relative merits of Truth and ecumenism, and some guidance on the meaning of true ecumenism (uniting with the one, True Faith revealed by Christ through His Church)?